I'm hard on words. Especially words for labeling. Even more especially words for labeling that people use to describe themselves.
It is completely unfair, as my wise twelve-year-old daughter pointed out to me. We need those words, and even though it can be uncomfortable to use them, it's all we've got.
One such au courant label being creative as a noun. In case you aren't familiar with somewhat self-involved arty circles, it's basically used to mean artist. However, in my own mind, it also seems to leave open the possibility that you may or may not have to have any particular skill or talent, but rather just want to be attached to a certain vibe/group/ idea.
Again, I'm not really being fair. Because as much as I hate the way the word is being bandied about, it is sort of useful. I think there are a whole lot of us out there that feel like we are artists somewhere deep inside, but we don't really know how to bring that desire to light. We like to make things and play with words. We notice light and pay attention to color. We try our hands at different mediums and want to think about what it all means, but we would never really feel comfortable with the word artist. So maybe creative feels like "artist lite", but it also feels like at times it is "artist who has yet to settle into a few select mediums".
This second possible definition is my daughter Sena. In November she wrote a novel. She art journals every day. She designs spaces in her mind. Memorizes monologs. Is teaching herself how to sing watching youtube videos. She acts in plays and practices yoga. She studies medicinal plants and challenged herself to write 30 scenes in thirty days. Her newly launched Instagram melts my heart.
She is a creative, whatever that word means, but stripped of all artifice or pretension. She does this stuff because it is central to her being.
What just might be most touching of all is the way that she encourages her wannabe parents. The way she makes us want to keep creating and experimenting and exploring.